Indra announced on 29 January that the company has been contracted by the Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) to conduct research into the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to the maintenance procedures and processes of the Spanish Navy.
The two-year Soprene project represents the most important step to date towards introducing the Industry 4.0 concept to the armed forces. Developments derived from the research will be a key part of the Future Integrated Navy Maintenance System 4.0, the solution that will supervise the maintenance of an increasingly digitalised and technologically advanced fleet.
Indra will apply and study the advantages of applying these techniques on the enormous amount of data collected from ships while at sea, from the thousands of sensors integrated into their equipment and systems. The data is stored at the CESADAR centre in Cartagena, responsible for analysis and monitoring of maintenance-related information.
These AI techniques to be examined will emulate the reasoning and decision-making functions of the human brain. Using the massive computing power provided by advanced computers, patterns that would go completely unnoticed by human beings can be detected. Indra believes it will be possible to reinforce the predictive maintenance of ships, avoiding unforeseen breakdowns, increasing their availability and saving costs, resulting in greater effectiveness for the entire fleet.
Ship diagnostics will be carried out automatically, reducing dependence on human intervention for classifying and detecting anomalies. The results will progressively improve, as the system acquires intelligence and learns from performance. Operators will monitor the entire process through custom dashboards. Depending on the level of criticality, the system will decide whether to alert engineers and technicians to intervene and to anticipate possible failures, lack of maintenance or the need to renew components.
This technology will avoid failures that could jeopardise a mission or crew safety. The workload of the team responsible for these tasks will be reduced and the Spanish Navy will gain in terms of days at sea of greater quality.